Almanack Contributor Jack Carney

Jack Carney is a clinical social worker who retired after fifty years of practice, nearly forty of which spent working in the public mental health system. He received his MSW from UCLA in 1969 and his DSW from CUNY in 1991. He is also a trained family therapist, trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and has devoted a good part of his professional life to teaching and training mental health professionals, to developing and implementing innovative treatment approaches and programs, and to conducting clinical practice research. He retired in 2010 from a large New York social welfare agency. He now lives with his wife and their two cats in the Adirondacks of northern NY State, where he spends much of his time writing provocative tracts and working as a community and healthcare advocate, heavily involved in the Campaign for NY Health and the enactment of single payer healthcare on a statewide – the NY Health Act – and national – Medicare for All – basis. He is the author of a book of essays – Nation of Killers: Guns, Violence, White Supremacy – The American Dream Become Delusion, published in 2015 and available via Amazon. He has also published over 40 blog posts on Mad In America and Op-Ed News, all concerned with the political deterioration of the American state and its institutions and the measures that ordinary Americans can take to oppose an oppressive corporatist ruling class that is squeezing the life and vibrancy out of us. A nearly complete listing of all his writings – a work in progress – can be found on his website, www.paddling

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Early Spring Trilogy

poetry logo“Desperation”

[Conversations with poets, cont. …

William Stafford, “Earth Dweller”]

The snow has gone, early

but gone.

the dirt, tufts of grass, the deer

coming out the woods to

crop them. But where are the birds?

» Continue Reading.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Synchrony. Serendipity. Shimmer. Sahara.

Photo in memory of Shimmer the cat

Same day, thirteen years ago,

we brought them home together from the

ASPCA shelter on 92nd, our two marvelous

cats. Shimmer, age 2, pulled his

twenty pound frame and twisted

rear leg from a tiny cage and charmed and

cajoled himself onto my wife’s lap,

the master survivalist.


barely a year, a black and white tuxedo

with a black stocking on each

leg, “coco (chanel) bunny” for short,

did the same, jumped into my lap as I

squatted next to her and into my heart.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Poetry: Sentinels

geese on the shore




















Thanksgiving eve
a family of Canadas
split off from
the migrating flock
and set down on our swath of rye and clover
poking through a dusting of snow. Six birds
the parental pair, ever alert, necks
craning as far as they could stretch and
their four fast-growing chicks embarked
on their first long flight. » Continue Reading.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Poetry: Woods-Speak

Leaves on a forest floor

By Jack Carney

The winds blew fiercely across
the lake for three days without
letup – no weathervane needed
to know they were nor’easters.
The trees lakeside told me,
whipped about, bowing and scraping to the
southwest, oranges and reds stripped away.

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Long Lake youth take part in educating the public about bears

educational bear poster

On Friday, June 30, at 1PM, Long Lake Library will unveil ‘Protect the Bears’ posters created by Long Lake students: essential components of a campaign launched by the Long Lake Committee to Safeguard Our Bears, Wildlife, Town

The formal exhibition of four “Protect Our Bears” posters created by four Long Lake Central School students will begin on Friday, June 30, at 1pm in the Long Lake Public Library. The event has its beginnings in community outrage over the euthanizing of four bears and a bobcat last year by the DEC within Long Lake township; which sparked the initiation by town residents of a campaign to educate residents and visitors about bears and to secure the support of the Town Council Ito ensure garbage is adequately removed and altercations between bears, people and the DEC are minimized.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Poetry: Odes to Adirondack Lupines

A line of lupines


Ranks of lupines
petals port-arms
ready to impale
with their vibrancy all
who pass them by on
a narrow gravel
Adirondack road.

» Continue Reading.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Spring is Struggling to Break Through/Rites of Summer Late in Coming

snow crocus

Spring is Struggling to Break Through

Yes! Spring is struggling to break

through here

in the mountains –

northern part of lake still iced

over, shores snow-covered, no

Canadas or loons, handful of

mallards – yet but soon.

» Continue Reading.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Spring slowly

Adult male American Robin feeding nestlings

Deer are the first sign that

Spring has come … tracks up the

snow-laden driveway and in the

small meadow lakeside, wary polite

encounters when we drive up and

down our narrow dirt roads — the now

wiser deer engaging us, gauging our

movements and moments to dash from

one side to the other … full-rumped from

their winter encampments where they

avoid the few predators that dare the

deep woods, eat their fill of winter

mast and await the birthing of their

fawns in May and June.

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023


bear cubs

Diminution: I – BEARS, rev.

Author’s note: Spring is almost upon us and the bears will be coming out and eventually down to our villages and towns; will eventually have unhappy altercations with homeowners as food becomes scarce and they get hungrier. They will also get shot and killed — 16 last year alone by the DEC.

This poem is both a memorial to what occurred and an admonition about what is sure to occur again. The question it leaves unanswered — are we willing to do anything to prevent or mitigate that occurrence? 

» Continue Reading.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Medicare for All or Medicare At All?

medicare illustration

By 2030, traditional Medicare (TM) as we know it, particularly those of us who depend on it for our health care, just might cease to exist, marking the end point of fifty years of attempted privatization and the gradual transfer of Medicare’s Trust Funds and their management to private for-profit insurance companies. Lots of money is at stake – over $900 billion in benefits were paid in 2020 to almost 63 million subscribers. Wall Street private equity firms are salivating.

Backstory: How did this happen? Can it be stopped? It began soon after the Medicare program became law in 1965, enacted to ensure that older Americans would have ready access to good health care as they aged and became ill. By 1973, Medicare had proved so popular that Nixon identified rising health care costs as a serious budget problem and took the following steps to contain them:

» Continue Reading.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Single-Payer NY Health Act: Universal Access to Comprehensive Healthcare

campaign for health logo

Greetings. I live in Long Lake and have been a member of the Campaign for NY Health for the past five years. The Campaign’s sole objective is the enactment of the NY Health Act into law. 

For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, “single-payer” healthcare in the U.S. is so called because the government, whether national or state, becomes the sole payer to treatment providers for the costs of all medical services, including dental, optical,  pharmaceutical, long-term care and mental health, incurred by their subscribers. It’s a role now played by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for persons 65 and older who are recipients of Medicare and for those who are recipients of Social Security Disability Benefits. When and if single-payer is enacted, commercial or private for-profit health insurance companies, the primary healthcare payers for their subscribers for the past fifty years, will be proscribed from selling private insurance policies and no longer play that role; which explains, in large part, the fierce opposition to single payer’s passage into law. Billions of dollars are at stake.

» Continue Reading.